ICE Director: Trump Wall ‘Doesn’t Sound Like It Would Secure Anything’
WASHINGTON -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldaña told a congressional committee today that GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the southern border to deter illegal immigration would “not secure anything.”
Saldaña also said ICE continues to release illegal immigrants after they commit crimes in the U.S. despite having enough space to keep them in detention.
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) asked Saldaña if it is possible to fully secure the border as a way to combat terrorism.
“Well, that’s a huge issue but I would say no - that’s why everything we do starting with the secretary and his priorities is based on a case-by-case basis. You’ve got to look at every individual,” Saldaña said at a Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on criminal aliens released by the Department of Homeland Security.
Norton followed up and requested Saldaña describe how ICE would go about sealing the border.
“I can’t imagine how you would go about that,” she responded. “I think there’s been some discussion about building a wall, and that kind of thing doesn’t sound like it would secure anything, actually.”
Although ICE has the capability to hold more illegal immigrants in detention, DHS is releasing illegal immigrants with criminal records into U.S. communities. Some have gone on to commit more crimes after ICE had them in custody but chose to let them go.
Saldaña confirmed statistics presented by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) including the figure of 86,000 illegal aliens with criminal records released into the public by ICE. The crimes committed include murder, assault, rape, kidnapping and others.
According to Saldaña, ICE currently has 2,000 beds available for illegal immigrants who commit crimes. She said that number could increase to 3,600 or more beds “tomorrow.”